Manfred Honeck talks to Michael Miller about Mahler, Bruckner, and Conducting

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Manfred Honeck. Photo Felix Broede.

Manfred Honeck. Photo Felix Broede.

Anyone who has heard Manfred Honeck conduct his own Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Heinz Hall or in their exemplary recordings on the Exton and Reference Recordings labels will know what a treasure he is for the world of music. This week he will conduct the New York Philharmonic in Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with Inon Barnatan and Mahler’s First Symphony. He has made something of a speciality of this composer, a fellow Austrian. His recorded cycle with Pittsburgh now includes Symphonies No. 1, 3, and 5. Maestro Honeck also has special insight into the work of Anton Bruckner, another fellow Austrian. He has so far recorded Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony and looks forward to recording the Ninth.

In this interview you will learn something about the care and intelligence he puts into preparing his performances and his warm feeling for these great composers.

Manfred Honeck’s recordings reviewed by Steven Kruger in New York Arts:

STRAUSS Elektra Suite. Der Rosenkavalier Suite • Manfred Honeck, conductor; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra • REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-722SACD (Streaming Audio: 58:33) Live: Pittsburgh 5/13-15/2016

TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6. DVOŘÁK Rusalka Fantasy • Manfred Honeck, conductor; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra • REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-720SACD (67:03) Live Pittsburgh 2015

BEETHOVEN Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7 • Manfred Honeck, cond; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra • REFERENCE RECORDINGS FR-718 (71:27) Live, Pittsburgh 12/5-7/2014

About the author

Michael Miller

Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review, an International Journal for the Arts, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bostonia, Master Drawings, Drawing, Threshold, and North American Opera Journal, as well as numerous articles for scholarly and popular periodicals. He has taught courses in classics, the English language, and art history at Oberlin, Rutgers, New York University, the New School, and Williams. Currently, when he is not at work on The Berkshire Review and New York Arts, he writes fiction, pursues photography, and publishes scholarly work. In 2011 he contributed an introductory essay to Leonard Freed: The Italians / exh. cat. Io Amo L’Italia, exhibition at Le Stelline, Milan, and wrote the revised the section on American opera houses in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is currently at work on a libretto for a new opera by Lewis Spratlan, Midi, an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea set in the French West Indies, ca. 1930.

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